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Job Satisfaction Interview Questions + Answers

job satisfaction

Interview questions about your job satisfaction at work are commonly used by recruiters. However, questions about job satisfaction are also sometimes regarded as trick questions. After all, why would you look for a new job if you’re currently satisfied with your job?

The interviewer asks you job satisfaction questions to find out what kind of worker you actually are. The ultimate goal of this question is to get a clearer picture of what you look like when you are most satisfied with your position.

When employees are satisfied in their jobs, they are more likely to be happy, engaged, and productive in general. You can imagine why job satisfaction is an important topic to discuss for employers. This is also the reason why interviewers want to assess in what type of environment you thrive.

The rationale behind these questions is that by analyzing you as a worker and the environment in which you thrive will help to make a better hiring decision. The interviewer can decide where or not you fit into the company and if the position you’re applying for suits you well.

For you, this question is a great opportunity to demonstrate that the work environment of the company and the job you’re interviewing for fits you well. By preparing yourself in the right way, you can use your answers to your advantage and show that you’re the right person for the job.

In this article, we discuss why the interviewer is asking you about job satisfaction and how you can use these questions to your advantage. You can read more about frequently asked job interview questions here. Also, check our job interview preparation checklist.


Why the interviewer is asking job satisfaction interview questions

There are multiple reasons why interviewers ask you about job satisfaction. The interviewer wants to find out in what kind of work environment you will do best in. The underlying reason for discussing this is to make sure that they make the best hiring decision possible. Instead of just hiring the person that they like, the interviewer needs more information to really figure out the right candidate for the job.

Job satisfaction is one of the most important factors of happiness in the workplace. Furthermore, satisfaction plays a large role in deciding whether or not employees want to stay in a particular position or pursue new opportunities. This is another reason why interviewers want to know where you derive your job satisfaction from.

To get the information they need and to determine whether or not you will remain content in your positions if hired, interviewers ask questions such as ‘at what moment in your career did you feel most satisfied in a job?‘ Your answers should help them identify the sources of your professional satisfaction. Furthermore, it should give the interviewer a better understanding of the factors that motivate you to perform.

Examples of questions to assess your job satisfaction are:

  1. What gives you satisfaction in your career?
  2. Can you describe your ideal work environment?
  3. Describe your ideal employer.

Recruiters consider the following elements when making hiring decisions

There are several points that interviewers and recruiters take into account when assessing your suitability for the job. Below we discuss them in more detail.

  • The costs of making a bad hiring decision

The ultimate goal of a recruiter is hiring the right person for the position. Employers know that bad hires are costly. A bad hiring decision does not only cost money, but it can also impact productivity in a negative way. Hiring the wrong job candidate out of a pool of applicants can also lead to making a bad impression on clients or customers, but also on colleagues.

Another disadvantage is that precious time will be lost if the company needs to start a search for another candidate after a bad hire. This is another reason why employers will do everything to avoid making the wrong hiring decision. Questions about job satisfaction are used as a preventive way to make sure that the candidate with the right fit for the company is hired.

  • Your traits and behaviors

The traits and behaviors you possess are two key dimensions that are responsible for how you perform at work. Your personality traits are persisting characteristics that you consistently demonstrate regardless of changing circumstances or work environments.

Because your personality traits define the habitual patterns of your behavior, thoughts, and emotions, they provide a good predictor of your future behavior in the workplace. Your behaviors regard the way you conduct yourself. For instance, what you say and do, but also how you actually say and do it.

By assessing your personality traits and behaviors, the interviewer is trying to substantiate his or her hiring decision. When making such a decision on a candidate, the interviewer needs to make sure that they are not only determining if a person has a predisposition to successfully perform the job. They also need to determine whether or not a candidate will truly be motivated and engaged in the activities and responsibilities required to perform the job.

Employers know that the biggest performance gaps happen because of people who are predisposed to perform the job (else they would not have applied for the job) but are not necessarily motivated to do so. The right hiring decision for recruiters is hiring the person that does not need to be told to do the work, but they do it because te work excites them.

  • Your behavior as a predictor for future performance

By asking certain interview questions about job satisfaction, the interviewers can quite accurately determine if you’re a fit for the company and job. For instance, when the interviewer asks you ‘what attracts you most to this particular job?‘ he or she wants to hear what you’re currently missing that would satisfy you in a new position. The same goes for ‘what kind of people do you enjoy working with?

These kinds of job satisfaction questions give the interviewer a better insight into your future work performance. It’s therefore important that you prepare well for these questions and expect related questions about your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Avoid making the wrong decision

By assessing your ideal work environment and job, the interviewer is trying to gauge your future job performance. Based on the answers you give about in what work environments you thrive and what motivates you, the interviewer can make a better hiring decision.

What the interviewer is interested in in terms of your job satisfaction

In short, interviewers want to know your source of professional satisfaction to help determine whether or not you will stay motivated when hired. Not only does this help them, but questions about job satisfaction are also meant to see in what kind of environment you do best in.

This is also the reason why we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be able to explain in which environment you thrive. The right preparation will get you there. The interviewer is looking for you to show that you’re motivated to perform the job, that you can take on the job requirements, and have the potential to grow.

Interview questions about job satisfaction are used to get insights into who you really are and how you approach your work. Based on this, the interviewer can determine whether or not the job suits you. Basically, they want to get the following questions answered:

  1. Are you easy to get along with?
  2. In what type of work environment do you thrive?
  3. What do you consider success?
  4. Do you find work meaningful?
  5. What is your ideal company culture?
  6. What makes you feel valued?
  7. If the company can offer you adequate career opportunities.

Red flags for interviewers when discussing job satisfaction

During your interview, you should have a story ready to discuss your ideal work environment. It’s common for interviewers to ask this question directly. Try to give an enthusiastic answer about what environment makes you most productive. Make sure to relate your answers to the company and job that you’re applying for. If your ideal work environment looks nothing like the environment of the company where you’re applying for a job, the chance of getting hired is zero.

Below we discuss some warning signs that you should avoid during your interview.

  1. Not providing a detailed enough answer

It’s important that you can explain what makes you enjoy your work. When the interviewer asks you about job satisfaction, their goal is to get to know you better. Make sure that you include enough details so that the interviewers get a good understanding of what you mean.

Also, when you name a specific aspect of a job that you particularly like, include an example of when you have experienced this and why it satisfied you. If it’s an aspect that you are looking for in your career but that you’re currently missing, explain why you think this would benefit you.

  1. Not responding effectively

The interviewer needs information from you to assess whether or not you would suit the position. When he or she asks you a question, it’s key to provide specific details or examples from your work experience to clarify yourself. Failing to do so could be a warning sign for interviewers – you might not know what works best for yourself. As a professional, you should be able to reflect on yourself and analyze your own behavior to figure out what works for you.

Failing to respond effectively to interview questions can come across as if you came unprepared. When you’re preparing yourself for a job interview, you should think of interview questions that you expect based on your research on the company and the requirements mentioned in the job description. Next, think about how you could answer them when they’re asked.

Also, think about possible follow-up questions. For instance, when you tell the interviewer that you thrive in a challenging but collaborative work environment, he or she will probably follow-up and ask you if you experienced it before and how it improved your performance.

  1. Negativity

Negative undertones never impress interviewers the right way. When you discuss what satisfies you in your work, make sure that you convey a positive and can-do attitude. It’s important to express your enthusiasm and excitement for a job by explaining why the job and environment are perfect for you at this stage in your career. Therefore, focus on yourself and put yourself in the best light possible.

Frequently asked job satisfaction interview questions

Questions about job satisfaction might sound challenging, but they are actually a great opportunity to demonstrate that you fit the company and job. Your answers should convince the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the position.

Below you can find commonly asked job satisfaction interview questions.

Job satisfaction interview questions

  1. Tell me what you are like as a team member.
  2. What makes you feel valued?
  3. Do you enjoy the culture of your current company?
  4. What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
  5. Do you find your work meaningful?
  6. What is your ideal work environment?
  7. What gives you satisfaction in your job?
  8. Does our company offer you adequate opportunities for you to develop yourself?
  9. What makes you happy in your work?
  10. What causes you to feel dissatisfied in your work?
  11. How will this position fit in your career plan?
  12. Describe your ideal employer.
  13. How do you define success?
  14. What attracts you the most to this position?
  15. Do you prefer working on a team or individually?
  16. What motivates you on the job?
  17. How do you feel about joining a new company?
  18. Can you tell me about the responsibilities in your current position that you really enjoy?
  19. Name me one thing that you would change about your career path.
  20. Tell me about the least favorite aspect of your current position.

How to prepare answers to job satisfaction interview question

Some of the job satisfaction interview questions require you to recollect previous work experiences. It’s therefore important that you prepare suitable answers before your interview on the questions that you expect based on your research.

There are several steps you can take to maximize your preparation. Make sure to consider the following elements:

  1. Start by doing your homework and researching the company

Every preparation for job interview questions that you expect starts with doing your homework right. This way, you get all the knowledge you need about a company and a position to structure your answers.

Start by thoroughly studying the job description. Research the company as well. Read their ‘about us’ page to find out more about the company’s background, mission statement, products, and services.

This research will help you get an idea of the company culture. Furthermore, it also helps you identify the needed competencies, skills, and abilities for the job.

  1. Write the required competencies, skills, and abilities down

Once you did your research, you can start writing down a list of the required competencies, skills, and abilities. Based on this list, you can prepare your answers to job satisfaction questions that you expect.

You can use interview questions about job satisfaction to your advantage by actually demonstrating your competencies through examples and how the particular position fits your career plan perfectly.

For instance, if the interviewer asks you what is your ideal work environment? Or how will this position fit in your career plan? It’s crucial that you relate your answer to the company culture and opportunities of that specific company and the position you’re applying for.

  1. Create a list of past work experiences that relate to the job you’re applying for

Once you have created a list of required competencies, skills, and abilities, you can also start thinking about example situations in which you demonstrated that exact behavior.

When the interviewer asks you, ‘can you tell me about the responsibilities in your current position that you really enjoy?’ you need to be able to discuss those responsibilities.

Furthermore, to give your answers more weight, you should provide the interviewer with an example of how you successfully handled your responsibilities. The best way to do this is by using the STAR interview technique. This is a quick and easy way to structure your answers.

Highlight specific successful situations where you demonstrated behavior related to the required competencies, skills, and abilities for the job. It’s important to show your enthusiasm for the current job opportunity. Try to be specific in how the job will contribute to your career goals, but also how you can add value.

Sample answers to job satisfaction interview questions

Below you will find some example questions and answers about job satisfaction. Focus on addressing the actual question by showcasing the relevant skills needed for the job. If possible, include a specific example of feeling satisfied with a former position and why this was the case. These questions allow you to position yourself as the perfect candidate for the job.

However, these are ‘general’ examples. Do not forget to do your own research to figure out interview questions that you can expect. Based on this research, you can structure your own answers in a way that includes enough detail to convince the interviewer that you’re the right person for the job!

Job satisfaction question and answer 1:

‘What gives you satisfaction in your work?’

‘Over the last six years, I have worked very hard to reach a position of leadership. For me, being a manager gives me a feeling that my work, actions, and coaching of my team members actually matters.

I’m a very energetic person that gets satisfaction from coming up with creative solutions in fast-paced environments like the one your company is active in. If my attitude and work ethic can positively contribute to a greater goal, such as that of my team, that is really satisfying for me as a professional.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The answer is specifically relevant to a work environment. In this case, the answer relates to a job in a fast-paced work environment.
  2. This answer shows that you know what you want and who you are. In other words, it shows that you’re self-aware as a professional.

Job satisfaction question and answer 2:

‘What causes you to feel dissatisfied in your work?’

‘What makes me feel dissatisfied in my work is when I’m not in a collaborative work environment. I believe the best results are achieved together.

I have worked in positions where I was alone in my department most of the day. During those days, I rarely interacted with coworkers in that company. Even though I manage by myself, I prefer to work with others.

This is also the reason why I applied to this position. Working in a collaborative team environment and the ability to work on cross-departmental projects really excites me.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The provided example is related and relevant to the workplace of the position that you’re applying for.
  2. This answer shows what demotivates you in your work. Note: always make sure that you avoid including topics that are required for the job that you’re applying for.
  3. This answer shows that you know what you want and who you are. In other words, it shows that you’re self-aware as a professional.

Job satisfaction question and answer 3:

‘How do you define success?

‘For me, success is achieving my goals and the ability to exceed them. As a professional, I set targets for my career that range from short to long term goals. Every step that I take in my career is meant to contribute to these goals.

The same goes for this position that I’m applying for and the learning and development options it offers to achieve another goal of mine, which is successfully performing a management position.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The provided example directly answers the question. It shows what success means to you.
  2. This answer shows how you thought about your career goals and how this particular position contributes to your goals.

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